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Using Trello for managing blog and content calendars

Organise your content marketing to save time and deliver better results

Our Managing content marketing 2015 research with HubSpot showed that to deliver on the promise of content marketing, more competition means that you have to be more organised in managing content to produce more, better quality content:

  • Nearly three quarters (71%) of businesses creating more content in 2015 compared to 2014
  • Only 12% feeling they have an optimised content marketing strategy
  • But quality is still a challenge with 68% still rating their content marketing as basic or inconsistent

So, in 2015, to run a really effective blog you need to produce a steady stream of quality content, that is relevant to your audience. It is also good if you can integrate upcoming blog posts with planned events, both within your industry and in the wider world.

To improve quality, you need to focus efforts you can build the 70:20:10 rule into your content planning. This involves producing 70% of your content for your whole audience that is safe and standard, then producing 20% that is higher quality and designed to be more viral to reach a new audience. The remaining 10% should be difficult to produce content that uses new approaches, but could gain massive attention. Read more about the 70:20:10 marketing model here.

In order to tick all these boxes you have to use a system of some form to manage your content marketing plan. This system must allow you to plan ahead whilst also being highly flexible so your strategy can be agile and quickly adjust to breaking industry news or other unexpected events as part of real-time marketing.

Step forward Trello - the tool / online service we use to manage our content marketing at Smart Insights alongside our Editorial calendar spreadsheets. Do you know Trello? If not, it's worth getting to know! If you do, we'd be interested to hear your tips for how you use it for content marketing?

Trello: Perfect for managing your content plans

Of course, you can just plan out your upcoming content in a table or even just a list on post-its. But the massive amount of flexibility and visual stimuli offered by Trello means it really trumps more basic attempts to manage content.

Trello blog calendar

This example blog calendar, which I put together in little more than five minutes for this post, shows just a taster of what you can do with Trello. It is a very simple system, consisting of a board with lists of cards that you can move around between lists. Each card can be given a name and assigned one or more labels (the coloured tabs). These labels can be named within trello so they can be used to identify certain types or themes of blogs can be easily identified.

Trello Cards

Each card can have file or photos attached to it, as the various drafts of your blogs are put forward. This means they are sorted within trello itself so you don’t have to go looking around for the files separately, which can often be a big time waster.

Trello card attachments

You can also make comments on cards, and invite your colleagues to see the board so they too can make comments and suggest amends. You can assign yourself to cards (which means your avatar will appear on the card), and that way you will automatically get a notification whenever someone comments on the card, so you are kept updated with developments.

Due Dates- never forget when you need to write

In addition you can set due dates for each card and anyone who is attached to the card will get a notification the day before the card is due and the day it is due. This will help you never to forget to produce a piece of content about that great idea you had just before you went to bed and then forgot about until trello reminded you! It will also mean so won't forget to write a blog on that industry event that you couldn't attend but wanted to engage with.

Collaborate with 'mentions'

Trello mentions

Another handy feature is that you can @ people much like on Twitter. Just used the @ symbol and start typing their trello username, and if they are a member of the board you are on then their name will come up and you can ‘mention’ them. This will mean they get a notification, and can be really useful for asking a colleague a question about a given piece of content. This saves time rather than dong it via email, as the person who needs to answer the question can see content right in front of them and will have all the relevant files, rather than having to find them each time.

Get started - It's free

There are even more great features of trello that I could show you, such as checklists, which will further help you with your content marketing efforts. But why sit around letting me tell you when you can check out trello and start planning your content marketing right now. It is free, and although there is a paid version all the functionality I have showed you is included without charge. As is the Trello mobile app, which will allow you to manage your content marketing on the go, or even on the loo!

So don't waste any more time using inefficient systems to plan your content, Get started on Trello today.

If you want to get set up with a more advanced content calendar than can handle larger and more complex content plans then download our Editorial calendar spreadsheet. This is available to expert members only.

Do you use Trello, or alternatives? It would be good to know your tips on this too.

By Robert Allen

I was the Editor of Smart Insights between 2015-2017. I managed the blog and you will find blog articles on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn. The new Editor is Carolanne Mangles.

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